United crashed out of the Betfred Cup with a 4-0 defeat to Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena on Saturday. In a frantic opening 12 minutes, Joe Chalmers' own goal was followed by a double from Jack Fitzwater before Alan Forrest added a fourth goal just before half-time.
Ayr went into the game with only one change to the starting 11 as Innes Cameron replaced the cup-tied Cammy Smith.
Livingston got off to a perfect start and recorded their first goal with less than a minute played. Josh Mullin took a short corner to Alan Forrest and when the ball came back to Mullin wide on the left, he curled in a cross that took the slightest deflection off Joe Chalmers and was flicked into the net.
Within six minutes, they were two goals to the good. Nicky Devlin flicked Mullin's corner on to Matej Poplatnik at the back post who prodded the ball into the path of Jack Fitzwater to score from close range.
United keeper Viljami Sinisalo denied Jon Guthrie's volley on eight mins, but shortly after, the third goal arrived. Craig Sibbald delivered a long-range effort into the box where it met Fitzwater for a header that sneaked in off the post and it was 3-0 only 12 minutes into the game.
The hosts were well on top of the match with a tremendous work-rate across the park while Ayr looked shell-shocked and were left without a chance. Mullin lifted a header over the bar before Sinisalo just kept efforts from Poplatnik and Guthrie out of the net.
Just before half time on 44 mins, Livingston added a fourth to their tally. Mullin's curling free-kick eventually fell to former United player Alan Forrest at 16 yards who confidently swept the ball into the net.
The intensity dropped after the break. Ayr looked a more competitive force in the second half, but the Lions were still in control. Although few chances materialised, Forrest and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas both coming close to a fifth, Livingston never looked in doubt and dominated possession on 72 per cent.
United meanwhile recorded no shot on target and the final whistle sealed the 4-0 scoreline and the exit from the Betfred Cup.